The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is creating a new Council on Federal Financial Assistance (COFFA) to ensure Federal agencies have the proper tools needed to deliver financial assistance programs, including reliable technology.

In an August 9 memo, OMB Director Shalanda Young said the COFFA is an interagency collaboration that will reduce the administrative burden for both Federal agencies and program applicants.

“The COFFA will create a partnership among Federal grant-making agencies, providing a single forum to inform Federal financial assistance policy, oversight, and technology activities,” the memo says. “The COFFA will be responsible for providing strategic direction, policy recommendations, and priority-setting for other government-wide grant-related activities.”

The COFFA will work to advance the priorities of the President’s Management Agenda (PMA), such as delivering excellent Federal services and customer experiences, and better managing the business of government.

According to the OMB director, the council also aims to further the Biden administration’s priorities to improve equity and “leverage Federal financial assistance as a catalyst to build back better.”

Jason Miller, the deputy director for management at OMB, will serve as the council’s chairman.

Young explained that the COFFA will be comprised of the 24 Federal CFO Act agencies, as well as a representative from the Small Agency Council. Each agency’s deputy secretary will designate a senior financial assistance officer (SFAO) to serve as a representative to the COFFA.

The SFAO of the Department of Health and Human Services will serve as the council’s first co-chair for a two-year term, but the successor co-chairs will be selected by the council members.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.